Add the Best, Drop the Worst

Are your bad habits getting the best of you?  Wish you could incorporate more good habits in your routine.  Take this great advice from Steve Pavlina:

When you realize that you have many bad or mediocre habits that are holding you back in life, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Where should you begin? Should you upgrade your health habits? Attempt a 30 day super trial? Commit to working an hour a day on your online business?

Here’s a simple heuristic that will help you identify which habits to change first:

Add the best. Drop the worst.

Let’s start with the first part.

Can you identify some of the absolute best habits you could add to your life, such that if you maintained these habits every day for the next 20 years, it would make a huge difference in your results?

Go ahead and brainstorm a few ideas. Jot them down. You don’t need a lot — a small handful of ideas is fine.

Now is there a certain idea that pops out at you? It may be on your short list, or you may come up with a new idea.

This is probably an idea that you fear, at least a little, but it will also be the idea that excites you the most when you think about the long-term results. If you added this one habit to your life and truly mastered it, it would trump all the others. If you could only install one new permanent habit, this would be it.

What is it?

And don’t give me that “I don’t know” crap. If you don’t know, then put your brain to the task and figure it out.

Of course you can’t really know which single habit is the absolute best. You don’t know what the future will bring, so you can’t know which habit will be best suited to your future growth and results. But surely you can make an educated guess.

And if you can’t even guess, then I’ll tell you what to use. Start drinking one quart of fresh juice every day. I like carrot-celery-cucumber-apple-kale-parsley-ginger-lime. It has to be fresh — none of that store-bought stuff. Drink it on an empty stomach.

Seriously, if your mind is too foggy to think clearly about this, it’s a safe bet your diet sucks (processed foods really cloud up the brain), so I’d start with an upgrade there if I were you.

Your Worst Habit

Next, use a similar process to identify your single worst habit.

What is that one nasty habit, that if you could somehow drop it from your life permanently, it would make a huge difference in your results over the next 20 years?

What one problem behavior keeps biting you again and again?

Is drinking soda making you fat, foggy, and anxious? Does checking email more than once a day kill your productivity? Are you wasting way too much time watching TV?

What habit seems to be slowing you down more than any other? Which one would you be overjoyed to finally be rid of?

A decent choice here is to pick the worst food (or class of foods) that you know has been hurting your ability to enjoy high energy, good mental focus, and deep concentration.

Choose Crisp and Clear Habits

Don’t make these habits complicated or vague. Choose simple habits with clear and crisp boundaries.

So don’t pick procrastinating as your bad habit and being more productive as your good habit… or overeating as the bad and eating healthier as the good. What do those things even mean? How do you measure success vs. failure? These choices are meaningless. If you picked something like that, you’re being stupid, so stop it!

Don’t be stupid here. Be down to earth and specific. When you choose a specific habit, there will be a clear and sharp dividing line between success and failure. Either you did the action or you didn’t. There’s no gray area in the middle.

Choose a bad habit like consuming coffee and a good habit like getting up at 5 AM each morning.  These are clear, specific, and easy to measure. Either you drank some coffee in a day, or you had none. Either you’re up and on your feet at 5:00 am, or you aren’t.

If you had a sip of coffee or a chocolate-covered espresso bean, you failed. If you had no coffee whatsoever in a day, you succeeded. That’s crisp and clear.

If you hit the snooze and got up at 5:10am, you failed. If you’re vertical before the clock hits 5:01 am, you succeeded. No room for doubt.

That fuzzy gray zone between success and failure is the death of many would-be habit changes. Don’t waste your time in that space. That is the zone of pretenders and wannabes.

If it makes sense to do so, choose related habits, such that your worst habit to drop and your best habit to add are two sides of the same coin. For instance, stop drinking soda, and drink a quart of green juice every day instead.  This isn’t essential, but it does make the process of change a little easier if you can pair up habits like this.

Begin a 30-Day Trial

Now that you have your two habits, and you’ve vetted them for clarity and crispness (and lack of stupidity), you’re ready to get started. Begin by kicking off a 30 day triall of both habits simultaneously.

Technically you’re doing two overlapping trials together. One trial is to drop your worst habit, and the other is to add your best habit.

 

Don’t look back. Once you’ve  locked in these habits, repeat the process. Seek out your new worst habit and your new potential best habit. Then recondition those as a pair too.

You may have been lucky, finding yourself blessed with an assortment of positive habits that have served you well throughout your life, but most likely you still have a collection of time-wasting, energy-draining, soul-sucking behaviors that you’d be delighted to dump. No matter what your starting point is, you can always continue to apply the “add the best; drop the worst” heuristic. Even good habits can be replaced by great ones.

 

 

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Release Negativity – How to stop Complaining

This is a great article about complaining and negativity!  Written by Steve Pavlina:

Perhaps the most important step in quitting the habit of complaining is to disconnect the undesirable behavior from your identity.  A common mistake chronic complainers make is to self-identify with the negative thoughts running through their minds.  Such a person might admit, “I know I’m responsible for my thoughts, but I don’t know how to stop myself from thinking negatively so often.”  That seems like a step in the right direction, and to a certain degree it is, but it’s also a trap.  It’s good to take responsibility for your thoughts, but you don’t want to identify with those thoughts to the point you end up blaming yourself and feeling even worse.

A better statement might be, “I recognize these negative thoughts going through my mind.  But those thoughts are not me.  As I raise my awareness, I can replace those thoughts with positive alternatives.”  You have the power to recondition your thoughts, but the trick is to keep your consciousness out of the quagmire of blame.  Realize that while these thoughts are flowing through your mind, they are not you.  You are the conscious conduit through which they flow.

 

Mental conditioning

Although your thoughts are not you, if you repeat the same thoughts over and over again, they will condition your mind to a large extent.  It’s almost accurate to say that we become our dominant thoughts, but I think that’s taking it a bit too far.

Consider how the foods you eat condition your body.  You aren’t really going to become the next meal you eat, but that meal is going to influence your physiology, and if you keep eating the same meals over and over, they’ll have a major impact on your body over time.  Your body will crave and expect those same foods.  However, your body remains separate and distinct from the foods you eat, and you’re still free to change what you eat, which will gradually recondition your physiology in accordance with the new inputs.

This is why negative thinking is so addictive.  If you keep holding negative thoughts, you condition your mind to expect and even crave those continued inputs.  Your neurons will even learn to predict the reoccurrence of negative stimuli.  You’ll practically become a negativity magnet.

The trap of negative thinking

This is a tough situation to escape because it’s self-perpetuating, as anyone stuck in negative thinking knows all too well.  Your negative experiences feed your negative expectations, which then attract new negative experiences.

In truth most people who enter this pattern never escape it in their entire lives.  It’s just that difficult to escape.  Even as they rail against their own negativity, they unknowingly perpetuate it by continuing to identify with it.  If you beat yourself up for being too negative, you’re simply reinforcing the pattern, not breaking out of it.

I think most people who are stuck in this trap will remain stuck until they experience an elevation in their consciousness.  They have to recognize that they’re trapped and that continuing to fight their own negativity while still identifying with it is a battle that can never be won.  Think about it.  If beating yourself up for being too whiny was going to work, wouldn’t it have worked a long time ago?  Are you any closer to a solution for all the effort you’ve invested in this plan of attack?

Consequently, the solution I like best is to stop fighting and surrender.  Instead of resisting the negativity head-on, acknowledge and accept its presence.  This will actually have the effect of raising your consciousness.

Overcoming negativity

You can actually learn to embrace the negative thoughts running through your head and thereby transcend them.  Allow them to be, but don’t identify with them because those thoughts are not you.  Begin to interact with them like an observer.

It’s been said that the mind is like a hyperactive monkey.  The more you fight with the monkey, the more hyper it becomes.  So instead just relax and observe the monkey until it wears itself out.

Recognize also that this is the very reason you’re here, living out your current life as a human being.  Your reason for being here is to develop your consciousness.  If you’re mired in negativity, your job is to develop your consciousness to the point where you can learn to stay focused on what you want, to create positively instead of destructively.  It may take you more than a lifetime to accomplish that, and that’s OK.  Your life is always reflecting back to you the contents of your consciousness.  If you don’t like what you’re experiencing, that’s because your skill at conscious creation remains underdeveloped.  That’s not a problem though because you’re here to develop it.  You’re experiencing exactly what you’re supposed to be experiencing so you can learn.

Conscious creation

If you need a few more lifetimes to work through your negativity, you’re free to take your time.  Conscious creation is a big responsibility, and maybe you don’t feel ready for it yet.  So until then you’re going to perpetuate the pattern of negative thinking to keep yourself away from that realization.  You must admit that the idea of being the primary creator of everything in your current reality is a bit daunting.  What are you going to make of your life?  What if you screw up?  What if you make a big mess of everything?  What if you try your best and fail?  Those self-doubts will keep you in a pattern of negativity as a way of avoiding that responsibility.

Unfortunately, this escapism has consequences.  The only way true creators can deny responsibility for their creations is to buy into the illusion that they aren’t really creating any of it.  This means you have to turn your own creative energy against yourself.  You’re like a god using his powers to become powerless.  You use your strength to make yourself weak.

The reason you may be stuck in a negative thought pattern right now is that at some point, you chose it.  You figured the alternative of accepting full responsibility for everything in your reality would be worse.  It’s too much to handle.  So you turned your own thoughts against yourself to avoid that awesome responsibility.  And you’ll continue to remain in a negative manifestation pattern until you’re ready to start accepting some of that responsibility back onto your plate.

Negativity needn’t be a permanent condition.  You still have the freedom to choose otherwise.  In practice this realization normally happens in layers of unfolding awareness.  You begin to accept and embrace more and more responsibility for your life.

Assuming total responsibility

You see… the real solution to complaining is responsibility.  You must say to the universe (and mean it), “I want to accept more responsibility for everything in my experience.”

Here are some examples of what I mean by accepting responsibility:

  • If I’m unhappy, it’s because I’m creating it.
  • If there’s a problem in the world that bothers me, I’m responsible for fixing it.
  • If someone is in need, I’m responsible for helping them.
  • If I want something, it’s up to me to achieve it.
  • If I want certain people in my life, I must attract and invite them to be with me.
  • If I don’t like my present circumstances, I must end them.

On the flip side, it may also help to take responsibility for all the good in your life.  The good stuff didn’t just happen to you.  You created it.  Well done.

Pat yourself on the back for what you like, but don’t feel you must pretend to enjoy what you clearly don’t like.  But do accept responsibility for all of it… to the extent you’re ready to do so.

Complaining is the denial of responsibility.  And blame is just another way of excusing yourself from being responsible.  But this denial still wields its own creative power.

Conscious creation is indeed an awesome responsibility.  But in my opinion it’s the best part of being human.  There’s just no substitute for creating a life of joy, even if it requires taking responsibility for all the unwanted junk you’ve manifested up to this point.

When you catch yourself complaining, stop and ask yourself if you want to continue to deny responsibility for your reality or to allow a bit more responsibility back onto your plate.  Maybe you’re ready to assume more responsibility, and maybe you aren’t, but do your best to make that decision consciously.  Do you want sympathy for creating what you don’t want, or do you want congratulations for creating what you do want?

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VEGAN MISTAKES

I have been eating a mostly vegan diet for over a year now. None of my friends are vegan, so when I go to a friend’s house or eat out I try and stick to all vegan, but I know that I’m not always aware of every single ingredient in everything that I eat.  Sometimes I don’t want to be overbearing and ask the host for every thing they may have put in a green bean dish for example.  I don’t eat any meat, but sometimes I know that something might have an egg or other non vegan item in the mix.  Now I know that some people are very strict and would not touch anything that is not 100% vegan and I applaud them for that, but that simply is not for me.  I would say that I am about 90% vegan and do the best that I can and forgive myself (don’t beat myself up) for the rest.

I have been reading about a new vegan cheese called Daiya that people on Facebook have been raving about.  Facebook is where all of my vegan and raw friends are.  I looked at the website and the cheese is not available in Florida, but they said it was in a few items in the grocery store like Annie’s Mac and “Cheese”.  So I go to the store and purchase it, since I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about.  I put the package in the freezer and had left it there for several days. I knew it had a lot of calories, so I wanted to eat it on a day when I wouldn’t be having much else.  A few days ago, I take it out, cook it and start to eat – yum – I’m thinking -boy these guys really do have something – this tastes exactly like cheese!  As I am eating I look at the package again and realize that I had bought the wrong one – it really was cheese! I couldn’t believe it!  I haven’t had any cheese in so long and this was certainly more than just a small ingredient in something!  Well, I will admit that I did finish the meal and it did taste good.  Will I buy another one? Probably not, but at the same time I didn’t feel guilty or anything.

You see, this is the trouble with labels – if someone says to you that they are vegan, does that mean that if they eat something that is not vegan can they no longer call themselves vegan?  This is one of the reasons why I haven’t put this on my profile.  I was watching Alicia Silverstone on Oprah the other day.  She is a great spokesperson for eating vegan. She told Oprah that on a rare occasions she does eat cheese!  I really admire her for speaking the truth.

I will continue on my path of eating vegan, but if on occasion I have something different I won’t feel guilty or bad.  I hope everyone will strive to eat healthy and make the right choices, but if you do make a mistake, forgive yourself and continue on your path to do better each and every day.

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At the Movies – “Thoughts Become Things”

Yesterday we had the privilege of attending the Red Carpet Premier of Mike Dooley’s new film “Thoughts Become Things” . If you saw The Secret, Mike was one of the featured speakers in that film, telling us that indeed – thoughts become things.  In his new film, he teaches us how to take this universal law and apply it to our lives.  He uses examples from his life and how he has arrived at where he is today.  The movie keeps your attention through out  the story and the teachings are so simple, anyone can do them.

The emphasis on the end result is important and let the universe take care of the “cursed hows” is the main message, but there is more to it than just sitting back and visualizing all day as you can imagine.  There is even great advice on visualization, for example, you only need to do it once a day!  There are 6 great tips on visualization in the film.

Mike also teaches us what to do when you can’t stop worrying about something and the different ways to take action.  All of the information is presented in a straightforward easy going manner, with some humor mixed in and and a great original soundtrack!

All in all, it is a great film and takes The Secret to the next level.  Everyone will be able to get something out of the film and I know it will be a big success along with Mike’s new book  “Infinite Possibilities”.

Thoughts Become Things DVD

Order your copy today!

Mike Dooley also does a fantastic speech every month here in Orlando called the Safari series.  It’s a great way to hear and meet Mike and the topics are always interesting and thought provoking.  We love it!!

You can also sign up for the new TUT club and Notes from the Universe (all free) here.

Disclaimer:  This is not a paid review, however it is an affiliate link .  Thanks for your support!

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New Year’s Resolutions in 30 Days

As the year comes to a close many people take time to reflect on how the previous 12 months went and what changes need to be made for next year.  People call these  New Year’s Resolutions.  Some people only have one or two like lose weight and make more money and others make a big list.  It all sounds great – only problem is that most of us will be right back here next year making the same resolutions again because somewhere around mid January to mid February all of those good intentions just fizzled out.

Why?  There are several theories, but more than likely resolutions are too vague, too broad and the thought of never having pie again is just too overwhelming.  Lifestyle changes require more than just a resolution.  If you have had bad eating habits for several years or a lifetime – just having a resolution isn’t going to get you very far.  Now I know what you might be thinking – that’s why I don’t do resolutions, I have goals!

Setting goals can be a good exercise and many have achieved great things using this technique, but unless you have good habits at putting those goals into action, they may never materialize.

Last year I started reading Steve Pavlina’s blog and one of my favorite articles is on 30 day trials.  The article is called 30 days to success and has been one of the most useful tools in creating change.

The idea is that you don’t have to commit to a major lifestyle change, just give it a 30 day trial.  Eating too much pie?  Then just go without for 30 days.  Then re-evaluate how much pie do you want to eat.  Chances are you will feel better and will have lost a few pounds, so you might not go back to eating so much pie.  The nice thing is that you don’t focus on anything past the first 30 days.  Boy, giving up pie for 30 days sounds a lot easier than never having pie again!

Take those New Year’s Resolutions and see what type of action you need to get something accomplished.  Then commit to that for 30 days.   Just get out your calendar and cross off each day as you go along.  30 days will go by fast!

When I thought about going vegan, the idea of never eating cheese or eggs again was scary – I thought there was no way!  I wanted to do it but I thought it would be too hard.  Then I read Steve’s blog about the 30 days and decided to go vegan for 30 days.  I had no further commitment than the 30 days and would decide how I would proceed after the 30 days had passed.  At the end of the 30 days I found that it was much easier to eat vegan than I had ever imagined and that I felt better and wanted to continue on with being vegan.  Out of all of  my “resolutions” last year, this was the only one that stuck – and it really wasn’t even a resolution.

This year I’ll still make a note of my resolutions, but I will be breaking them down to bite size 30 day trials.  Some of the 30 day trials that are on my list for 2010 are – no desserts (starting this one in Jan!), exercise, juice and read (books, not the Internet).

Just a tip – another one is write on my blog – I don’t really want to post something necessarily everyday, but will need to at least write something daily to establish better writing habits, so will be posting more.  If you want to start doing something weekly, you really need to do at least a part of it on a daily basis.

I challenge you to do a few 30 day trials.  They give you the ability to experience something different to see if it is a lifestyle match for you.  Which new habits do you want to create?  Well, what are you waiting for?

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Who Do You Look Up To?

pathways stones

With so much media and technology we are constantly bombarded with the lives of movie stars, gurus, sports stars, politicians and so forth.  Do you find yourself admiring or looking up to some of these “idols” only to be disappointed when they do not act in a manner that you deem appropriate?  Our society puts these individuals on a pedestal and with so much information out there, they are easily knocked down.  Then they are criticized for not being a better role model.

While I do agree that it would be nice if some of these individuals would behave a little better, I do feel that living under a microscope would be tough.  The motivation for respecting your family and your fans should come from within and not some outside pressure.

The best thing that you can do is go ahead and enjoy the movie stars, sports stars, etc. but if you want to look up to someone, you should look up to yourself and be the best person you can be and set your own examples and become your own role model.  This way you can only be disappointed when you do something and then you can take responsibility and make changes to become a better person.

Stop living vicariously through others and take charge of your life.  Celebrate your successes and don’t let the actions of others determine your mood.  I not saying don’t root for your favorite team, just detach yourself a bit from it and focus on activities that make you the winner!

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Thoughts on James A Ray

I’m sure most of you have heard about the tragedy that occurred at last week’s Spiritual  Warrior with James Ray.  If you read my first post you will see that I have attended one of his events, Harmonic Wealth Weekend and it truly made a positive impact in my life.  My heart goes out to those who lost their lives, their families, loved ones and to those that are still ill.  I like many others are waiting for answers.  Unlike many others however, I am withholding  judgment until more information is released.

In reading around the Internet, I have been shocked at how many people are willing to crucify James, with so little information available.  It is one thing to say that it appears that the sweat lodge was improperly constructed (we still aren’t sure who built it) and that the James Ray organization could have been more prepared for any emergencies or had better monitoring of the sweat lodge or could have had fewer people in there at a time.  But I am reading headlines calling James a murderer and linking him to Jim Jones.  One article even demanded that Oprah apologize for introducing James on her show and somehow making Oprah partly responsible for all of this.

One of the biggest criticism I see is that the was a large fee (over $9,000.) for the retreat.  It’s almost like the critics are using this to say that all self help “guru’s” are only in it for the money and that greed is what killed the people.  People are saying that James charged the money for the sweat lodge and traditionally sweat lodges (a Native American tradition) are normally free.  What the money was paid for was the 5 day retreat and the sweat lodge was just a part of it. If James is guilty of negligence (which he may well be) – would he be less guilty had he not charged?

Many are saying that he is a cult leader.  I have never had that impression.  I have attended the seminar and read the book, but I don’t live my total existence based on him and I doubt few would do that. Besides, it’s not like he asks followers for their money (like many cult leaders do) without providing something in return.  He is considered (or at least was) a leader in his field.  How much would other leaders in their field charge for 5 days with them? Probably more than $9,000.  It’s all relative to what perceived value you receive.  Heck – some people pay more than that for play-off games and Super Bowl tickets.

I know that James is about pushing people to their limits and becoming a better person for it.  I do not believe he wanted harm to come to anyone.  It is unfortunate that he was not more cautious. I think sometimes we all think that we can encourage someone to do something that perhaps they really can’t or would not be safe.  I perhaps have been guilty of this myself as a former gymnastics and diving coach – luckily no one was ever hurt.  On vacation once in St. Croix we sat and watched an experienced swimmer get his friend out in very calm water and try and teach him how to swim.  The guy panicked and had heart failure and died right there before our eyes.  The teacher (the man’s brother-in-law) I’m sure meant no harm, but did not understand the fear the other man had of the water.  I’m sure he has suffered living with this, but I would not call him a murderer.

I do call into question how James has handled some of this.  Perhaps a part of him is in denial, perhaps fear, perhaps lawyers have cautioned him not to speak out now.  I hope he does the right thing.  Please understand – I am not defending him, simply not judging until we have more facts and perhaps looking at the reasons as to how something could get so out of hand, without having that intention when you set out.

On another note, some have criticized the victims saying they should have gotten out, or refused to go it, or not stayed in so long.  Sometimes the body and mind have a way of playing tricks on you.  I don’t know much about sweat lodges, but for example when you get hypothermia, you actually at some point start thinking you are warm and begin removing clothes and become very detached from your experience.  I know of a few cases where people have drowned by falling asleep in a hot tub.  So I don’t think we can put ourselves in their position and know what was happening.  I don’t feel the victims are to blame for anything.

Once again, we all have to be responsible for our actions whether we intended to harm or not.  James Ray will also have to be held accountable for what has happened under his watch.  My issue is with the immediate hateful things that are being circulated without much information.  My thoughts go out to all.

I welcome all comments, including those that disagree, just please leave the hate aside.  Thanks.

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Seven Secrets to a Successful Detox

Congratulations on deciding to jump start to a healthier you!  A detox is a great way to give your body a rest and give you the necessary motivation of a healthier lifestyle.  After completing a detox you will look and feel great.  Your energy levels will increase and and cravings for sugar and other toxins will be gone.  I hope these secrets will help you with your detox.  Proper planning is the key.  Please note that a detox does not replace medical advice.  Follow these steps to ensure success!

1. Decisions.  Decide upfront which detox you are going to do and for how many days.  A detox can last from one day to 10 days or more.  Deciding in advance how many days you are going to do will help you complete the detox.  Do not say things like “I’ll try it and see how long I last…”  This is a recipe for failure.

2. Mindset.  You’ve heard about willpower.  Some people seem to have more of it than others.  Well – FORGET ABOUT WILLPOWER! – What you need is a proper MINDSET.  Focus your thoughts on only positive thoughts about your detox.  Prepare yourself mentally for a week or so ahead of time.  Read as much as you can about the positive effects of doing a detox.  Visualize yourself after the detox and how great you will feel.

3. Pick a date.  Look at your calendar and pick a date to start.  The first day should be when you don’t have a lot to do.  Maybe your day off from work.  Make sure there are no conflicting events like the bosses’ birthday party that will jeopardize your detox.  It can actually be dangerous to be on a juice detox for a few days and then eat a big meal without coming off the detox properly.

4. Go Shopping.  Make a list of everything you need and go shopping ahead of time.  If you shop for other people in your household that will not be doing the detox, do all of the grocery shopping before you start.

5. Slow down.  A day or two before, avoid heavy meals.  If you drink coffee you should limit coffee and other caffeine beverages.  You will probably experience some sort of caffeine withdrawal and get a headache.  Just tough it out – it should go away after the first day.  Spend time relaxing both the body and the mind.  Take a relaxing bath in the evening.

6. Detox.   Start in the morning.  Stay focused on the positive outcome.  If you are doing several days, keep a journal.  It will help you stay on track. If you start to feel ” hungry” just have some more juice.  Drink lots of water. The hungry feeling will disappear after the first day.  Don’t watch TV.  If you must, then record your show and fast forward through the commercials.  You don’t realize how many food commercials there are on TV until you decide not to eat.  Instead read or journal.  Keep exercise light.

7. What next?  Once you have completed your detox you will want to use this opportunity to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle.  The day after the detox you should have fruits and vegetables.  Raw if possible.  Vegetable soup (homemade) and brown rice are also good.  Avoid all meat and dairy.  Look and see what your diet was like before the detox and make a list of all the things you would now like to eliminate from your diet.  Go shopping again for a new healthier you!!

If you need some ideas for detoxes or want to learn which detoxes are better than others for different conditions, check out this great e-book by Frederic Patenaude, one of the leaders in the raw food movement.  It sells for up to $37.00 on his site – you can get it here for only $19. Download immediately!

21 best detox diets

Order now at: www.21bestdetoxdiets.com

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Reasons to Detox

It’s been about a year since I did a 10 day detox.  When I started I was just looking to release a few unwanted pounds and of course detox my system to perhaps feel good and have some energy.  Wow – I got a lot more than what I bargained for! Several people were doing detoxes at work, so that made it a little easier to give it a try.  When I started I was nervous that I wouldn’t have the “willpower” to keep on going – after all – I do love to eat!

Over the previous 10 years or so, I had slowly been gaining a few pounds every year and it seemed impossible to stick to an eating plan to lose weight for more than a few hours, much less days, weeks or make a whole lifestyle change.  It was always – “I’ll start tomorrow” and so it went.  For most of those 10 years I did some sort of exercise including running a marathon, but the pounds weren’t going anywhere.

The first day of the detox was the toughest – I remember we went to a movie and I had a headache since I was used to drinking coffee in the morning.  Not to mention not having any popcorn!  Once I made it through the first few days, it was actually much easier than I thought it would be.  I was never hungry and wasn’t tempted to eat when I was around other people that were eating.

One of the first benefits was all the compliments I was getting on how good my skin looked!  I was also losing weight which was a great feeling.  However the biggest benefit was how the detox got me in touch with myself.  Much of eating is emotional, so if you are not eating, your emotions will come to the surface.  This is a good thing, especially if you are able to recognize it as it happens.

When the 10 days were over I decided to go vegetarian.  For me willpower has nothing to do with making a change – I never had any willpower.  Instead, it was all about mindset.  I have never looked back on my decision and all of the sudden it was easy!  I had started to read about vegetarian and vegan diets and decided that was the way I wanted to be.  Starting Jan. 1st I decided to do a 30 day trial and go vegan.  I am still vegan today, and don’t see myself ever going back to eating meat or dairy products.  I do need to add more raw foods as they are the source of true energy and life.

For the past year, my weight has stayed the same as when I finished the detox.  I attribute this to the vegan diet.  I really haven’t cut back on the amount of food I eat – it’s just that meat and cheese have a lot of calories – so eliminating those have allowed me to keep the weight off.  Lately thought, I have been eating too  much sugar and feel it’s time to do another detox.

Detox is more than just losing a few pounds.  As I mentioned before it can be a great time to look at where you are in life and where you would like to be.  It is  a good time to get in touch with yourself and see where you might be headed next.  If you would like to try a detox – on my next post I will be offering some great tips and secrets to a successful detox.  Stay tuned…..

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Friendship

Yesterday we watched an old, yet timeless movie – You Can’t Take It With You (1938).  It’s a Frank Capra film (It’s a Wonderful Life) and also stars Jimmy Stewart.  The message of the movie is about friendship and enjoying your life (rather than chasing the dollar).  It’s a great film and I highly recommend it, especially if you feel you are somewhat caught up in the “rat race”.

I have many friends and I love them all.  I have experienced many changes in my life in the last year and as you can imagine, I now find myself having different view points, diets, ideas, etc. than most of the people I hang out with.  Much has been written about how when you make major changes, sometimes you have to leave friendships behind.  I would for the most part, disagree.  Of course if someone is being negative or bringing you down, then yes, it would be time to move on, but just because someone does not have the same views or ideas about life that you do, it’s not reason enough.

Most of my friends have been with me for a long time.  I don’t think any of them are vegan (like me) or even vegetarian (a few don’t eat meat, but eat fish, etc.).  Most have very different religious views than me as well as politics and my overall outlook on life.  Everyone is on their own path and there are so many different viewpoints out there that if we all had to match, no one would have any friends!!

Viewpoints come from your beliefs.  Beliefs can be quite stubborn.  Once someone has a particular belief they will attract all of the circumstances into their life to validate these beliefs.  Something really powerful has to happen for most people to step out of the box and really examine why they believe the things they do.  This is why most people go through life with the same religion, political party, etc.

You see, I believe that your world (including your friends) are a reflection of you.  You have attracted your friends into your life.  I think that I have so many friends with different viewpoints to teach me not to judge.  Despite all of our differences we have one thing in common that bonds us together and that is our love and caring for each other.  My friends are supportive, loving and kind and would go out of their way for me in just about any circumstance.  I am so grateful for them.

Look at the friends in your life.  They are there as a reflection of you, to teach you and to help you grow.  Look for positive people to enrich your life, and be sure to enrich theirs as well.  If someone is not holding up their end of the friendship, perhaps the lesson is over and it is time to let that one go, just be sure that it is for the right reason.  Friends come in all shapes, sizes, beliefs and viewpoints and I am grateful for them all.

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